• What Is the Benefit of Clinical Trials in Cancer Care?

    After a diagnosis of cancer, patients often find that they have an overwhelming amount of information to sort through. They may wish to learn more about their specific type of cancer, whether surgery is a good choice, and what they might expect from chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The importance of clinical trials should not be overlooked, however. Clinical trials are research studies conducted at hospitals, including Good Samaritan Hospital .

    Gaining Access to New Treatments

    One common reason why some patients may hesitate to explore the clinical trials available at their local hospital is the perception that these studies are reserved for people with advanced cancer or cancer that does not respond to any other treatment. But in fact, participants with every stage of cancer are needed. Since clinical trials test new treatments that are not yet available, participating in these studies provides a way for patients to gain access to therapies that may help them.

    Being Closely Monitored

    Cancer patients visit their local hospitals frequently for tests and treatments, and they are all carefully monitored. However, participating in a clinical trial could mean that the patients are monitored even more closely because the researchers need to keep track of the effects of the treatment.

    Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Treatments

    Many cancer patients decide to participate in clinical trials at a community hospital because they wish to help others with cancer by furthering research initiatives. Clinical trials are the last stage in determining whether a new cancer treatment will be approved for use. Clinical trials not only evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications for cancer treatment; they also evaluate new ways of diagnosing cancer, preventing cancer, and managing the side effects of cancer treatment.

    Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose is a leading test hospital, participating in many clinical trials that may not be available elsewhere in the Bay area. At our hospital, you’ll find compassionate cancer support services and sophisticated treatment options to help you fight back against cancer. For more information about these and other healthcare services, call (408) 819-0558 or visit our hospital on the Web.

  • Summertime Heatstroke Awareness

    Summer Heat Las Vegas

    If you’re planning some fun in the sun this summer or if your job requires you to be outdoors, it’s a good idea to become informed of the dangers of heat-related illnesses. Individuals, who are already ill, are working out in high temperatures and humidity, and those who are very young or old are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Heatstroke is the most severe heat illness and it requires emergency care .

    Preventing Heatstroke

    Heatstroke can be a serious condition; however, it is preventable. You can reduce your risk of heat-related illnesses by avoiding alcoholic beverages, wearing appropriate clothing for the weather, and drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. If you plan to exercise, consider working out indoors in the air conditioning or exercise outdoors during the early morning or evening hours. While you’re outdoors, take frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning to cool off. Before getting into a car that has been parked in a sunny area, turn on the air conditioning and wait for it to cool down.

    Identifying the Symptoms

    There are different stages of heat illness . The first is heat cramps, which involves symptoms such as fatigue, thirst, and muscle cramps. If left untreated, it may progress to heat exhaustion, which is characterized by dizziness, weakness, headache, nausea, and dark urine. Lastly, heatstroke can cause fever, confusion, rapid and shallow breathing, irrational behavior, seizures, and unconsciousness. If left untreated, heatstroke may cause organ failure, brain damage, and death.

    Responding to Heatstroke

    If any of the symptoms of heatstroke are observed, you’ll need emergency care at a nearby hospital. Call 911 right away. While waiting for the emergency responders, move to a cool area, lie down, and elevate your feet. Sip a sports drink or salted water, if available. Otherwise, sip a cool, non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverage.

    Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose is fully equipped to handle any medical emergency, including heatstroke. Our emergency care team also provides rapid evaluation and treatment for patients who require cardiac care. To inquire about the healthcare services at our community hospital, please call (408) 819-0558. If you require emergency care, please call 911 immediately.

  • Overcoming the Challenges that Come with Quitting Smoking

    No Smoking

    Smoking inflicts damage on almost every organ in the body. It compromises oral health, facial appearance, reproductive health, and of course, lung function. Despite the well-known dangers of smoking, it’s a difficult habit to eliminate because nicotine is so highly addictive. Good Samaritan Hospital would like to let San Jose residents know that we fully support smoking cessation efforts by providing treatment options and group programs.

    Talk to Your Doctor about Treatment Options

    A doctor at your local hospital can help you decide on a smoking cessation treatment option that suits your needs. Varenicline is a medication that helps reduce cigarette cravings and manage nicotine withdrawal. If you do start smoking again, varenicline interferes with the effects of nicotine to help you get back on track. Bupropion is another quit smoking medication that can be used with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. NRT products include nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges, which are available without a prescription. These products work by providing gradually declining levels of nicotine.

    Take Advantage of Programs at Your Local Hospital

    Another way your physician can help is by connecting you with resources such as educational classes and support groups. These types of programs can introduce you to strategies to overcome your cravings and lead a healthy lifestyle.

    Discuss Your Goals with Your Loved Ones

    When you’re ready to quit, discuss your plans with your family and close friends. Let them know how they can help you succeed, such as by maintaining a smoke-free home and distracting you from your cravings by going to a smoke-free environment with you, such as the cinema.

    Identify Your Smoking Triggers

    A smoking trigger is anything that might prompt you to reach for a cigarette. Many people automatically reach for a cigarette after a meal or while they’re driving, for example. Other common triggers include being under stress and talking on the phone. Make a list of your smoking triggers and think of alternative actions you could take to overcome your cravings. For example, you could brush your teeth immediately after a meal instead of smoking.

    Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose is your partner in wellness . Our hospital provides compassionate care and extensive patient support. You can reach out to our Consult-A-Nurse line 24/7 at (408) 819-0558 or click through to our website to explore our service lines, including emergency care, cardiac care, and maternity services.

  • How to Prepare for Your Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment

    If you’re anticipating having radiation therapy at your community hospital, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the treatment. Your cancer care team can explain why radiation therapy is the right treatment for you and what you can expect from each step of the process. At Good Samaritan Hospital, our cancer care specialists are always available to guide patients through the treatment planning process.

    Consider Fertility Preservation

    Many types of cancer and its treatment can adversely affect male and female fertility. Patients may wish to discuss this possibility with their physicians before having any treatment, including radiation therapy. If there is a possibility that fertility will be affected, patients may wish to consider fertility preservation options. For example, the cryopreservation of sperm or eggs can facilitate a future pregnancy despite radiation therapy.

    Identify Possible Side Effects

    Every patient reacts to radiation therapy differently. You may feel better prepared for the side effects that do occur by learning how to handle them in advance. Your oncology team can help you learn about ways of managing side effects such as fatigue, skin irritation, shortness of breath, mouth irritation, and hair loss.

    Undergo the Treatment Planning Process

    Before receiving radiation therapy, you’ll go to your local hospital for a consultation with the radiation oncologist. During this appointment, your team will assess your general health, handle any necessary paperwork, and answer any questions you may have about radiation therapy. You may want to bring along a notepad to jot down notes. Many patients also bring a family member to help them keep track of information. After the consultation, you’ll undergo imaging scans and radiation simulation. During radiation simulation, you’ll find a comfortable position to lie in during treatment and your radiation therapy team will place markings on your body to pinpoint a target for the radiation beam.

    In addition to our state-of-the-art radiation oncology equipment, Good Samaritan Hospital provides support services to guide patients and their families through all phases of cancer care. Our hospital also provides San Jose residents with exceptional emergency care, maternity services, and cardiac care. To speak with a registered nurse at our hospital, call (408) 819-0558.